Saturday June 24th 2017

January Existing Home Sales

existing_home_salesFree News Press – The National Association of Realtors (NAR) said that existing home sales edged higher in January. Compared to one year ago, home prices were also higher.

The association called the real estate marketplace a “sellers market.” On a seasonally adjusted basis, the sale of existing single-family homes, townhomes, condominiums, and co-ops hit 4.92 million units, up 0.4 percent from the previous month. They also revised their December figure down.

Low interest rates and extremely low home prices are driving the resurgence in home sales. “Buyer traffic is continuing to pick up, while seller traffic is holding steady,” said Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist.

“In fact, buyer traffic is 40 percent above a year ago, so there is plenty of demand but insufficient inventory to improve sales more strongly. We’ve transitioned into a seller’s market in much of the country.”

Excess foreclosures had been a drag on the market. That situation has changed and the market is now considered “tight” giving sellers more control. In January 2012 distressed homes accounted for 35 percent of the sales. Last month only 23 percent of the sales were considered distressed. Only 14 percent of the sales were foreclosures and 9 percent were short-sales.

Yun says the inventory will increase this spring, but he doesn’t expect the gain to keep up with the incidents of multiple bidding and faster-than-normal price growth.

Image: NAR Lawrence Yun

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